Microsoft buys out e-discovery start-up to sift through Office 365 user data

20 Jan 2015

Software giant Microsoft has acquired Equivio, a company heavily invested in machine learning technology that Microsoft aims to include in its Office 365 program to sift through reams of data.

Announcing the purchase of the US/Israeli start-up on its blog, Microsoft said Equivio’s e-discovery software will allow users of its Office 365 system to better sort through the huge quantity of data produced and find what would be most relevant to the company from a legal or compliance perspective.

Equivio’s software reportedly offers those using it access to advanced text analytics that will allow them to put their reams of data through multi-dimensional analyses and grouping them into relevant categories reducing sorting time significantly.

Given this purchase, it would be expected that Microsoft’s own e-discovery software that is included on current Office 365 packages will be replaced by Equivio’s software with its expected integration coming ‘in the months ahead’.

As a service, e-discovery is becoming increasingly in demand from large companies that have little to no idea how to deal with the huge quantities of data they are producing and what is worthy of disposal or vital to the company.

While the financial aspect of the deal has not been disclosed, VentureBeat suggests initial reports last year indicated a price of US$100m-US$150m.

Data stream image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic